Tory councillor sorry for comments about 'disadvantaged people' and cars

Councillor Linda Grooby.
Councillor Linda Grooby.

A Derbyshire Conservative councillor has apologised after she made comments about 'disadvantaged people' during a budget debate.

Councillor Linda Grooby spoke at a High Peak Borough Council meeting which ended in the Tory-led authority agreeing a rise in car parking charges.

Following the debate last Tuesday night, Coun Grooby - who represents Cote Heath on the council - told us: "I stated that disadvantaged people would not be affected by the car parking increase since they would not have cars and therefore would not be affected by the increase. That is very different from saying they should not have cars.

"I am sorry if my words have caused offence to anyone. That was not my intention."

Coun Grooby added: "I believe my words at the council meeting have been distorted by some people."

In a post widely circulated on social media last Tuesday night, Labour Coun Damien Greenhalgh stated that Mayor-elect Coun Grooby said the rise in car parking charges 'wouldn't affect people "on the bread line" as they shouldn't be able to afford a car'.

There were 'audible gasps' around the council chamber, he added.

He later said on Twitter: "I am told other members of her group felt she was out of line in private conservations with my Labour colleagues."

On social media, some people have called for Coun Grooby to resign.

We asked her for a response to those calls but we have not yet received a response.

Coun Grooby also represents the Buxton North and East division on Derbyshire County Council.

Her profile on the Derbyshire Conservatives website states: "I am a family woman, having lived and worked for most of my life in Buxton.

"I have always been an active member of the community, involved in and supporting local organisations which benefit the residents of the town.

"I am not a career politician, I am simply someone who wants the very best I can possibly get for the residents of this town."